Friday, November 30, 2007

Guest Lecture Notes and Various other things

Tonight was an awesome lecture! Darren Holmes came and lectured about being an Editor for both live-action films and animated ones. Not a whole lot of notes, he used a lot of visuals to illustrate his points. Overall, it came down to:

The editor is the voice of the storyteller, they convey the inflection, pacing, and diction of the film. As an editor you have to consider the different aspects of a sequence not just for yourself, but how an audience might respond to it.
There are two reasons to make a cut: Either for an emotional reason or for keeping the tempo consistent(rhythm or action as he used it).
The first and last 5 minutes of a film are your only two chances to grab your audience. If you don't grab an audiences attention in the beginning, they're lost for the rest of the film. Those last 5 minutes are what everyone will remember. He showed us an example for a grabbing opening, by playing Silverado.
Otherwise, he ended by saying, "Hollywood is a small town--animation is even smaller. As one animator at Disney put it, 'It's like high school, but with really expensive cars.' Don't burn bridges. The business is like the special forces because you'll be called upon different projects because of your specific talent. Be willing to start at the bottom(particularly when thinking of becoming an editor), When you have spare time--work toward what you want."

He showed a whole treasure trove of animatics and film clips to illustrate his lecture. These included a lot of rough animatics from Ratatouille(a couple are on the DVD featurette), Iron Giant, and Lilo & Stitch. All of them were extremely inspiring since I'm currently in the animatic stage and seeing the first passes on Iron Giant and then seeing the finished version was, to say the least, amazing. He went into detail as to how Brad Bird works(both on Iron Giant and on Ratatouille) and after each animatic played he would break it down and point out the changes that were later made for the final version. He also played a trailer Brad Bird made to try and promote Iron Giant when it was about to be released....if they had used THAT trailer, Iron Giant would have done much better in was dramatic and comedic at the same time. Anyways, I'm very eager to get back to work on my animatic and really push my dramatic moments and help establish more contrast between the "calm" scenes and the climatic/dramatic ones.

As far as film updates: I finished re-boarding my film yesterday and spent the greater part of today compiling them in Final Cut, it's clocking in just shy of 90 seconds which is perfect! Just need to add more contrast and music. Then I'll be ready to share it again with teachers and friends. Here's a quick preview of one of my boards for my film:

Board 5 of 83. This one showcases my second character, Ollie who is Pilot's owner.

P.S. It's December tomorrow! When did that happen, November shot by. So much to do in the just a matter of days! 13 days and I'll be on a plane right now(night flight for me), it's just crazy how fast time has gone by and how much I've learned. Can't wait to see how next semester goes, by the time May rolls around I'll actually have a film in my hands!


Cindey said...

ohhh jennnniferrr how do you do that?!
Right on time too. haha yet another great recap of the lecture.
I promise I'll start making posts... soon. In the meantime, I need to finalize my film idea and boooard! ahhhh. I am very much impressed with your proficiency at doing things and staying on top of your work as you already know.

I can't believe that it's going to be december too! 14 days and I'll be on a plane :D

Jennifer said...

Haha, hey hey Cindey!
I'm looking forward to seeing a blog full of posts from you too! Yeah, good luck with your own film! I still like your idea and I'll be stopping by around 9 tomorrow morning to hopefully hear a pitch eh? Aww thanks, yeah well you keep up on your projects too, and you always do a fantastic job on your design homework! Can't wait to see how you incorporate your fox/cupcake motif into your projects!

Yeah basically 15 days and CalArts will pretty much be a ghost town. ;) haha